Gayle is an accountant. Shh – don’t tell. She thinks she’s a writer.
Living Green Without Sacrificing Comfort
Sustainability and living green can seem a lofty goal. We want to contribute, to move beyond our household recycling and garden bins, to make some greater contribution to preserving our planet for our children and grandchildren. But where do we start? What can we do that is affordable, achievable and allows us to maintain the comforts of life that we treasure?
There is an abundance of courses, tours and exhibitions where we can learn about sustainability. Those listed below are for April 2016 but most of these organisations run year round.
Energy and Solar Power
All About Solar – Buyers Checklist: Do you think about installing solar power but don't have sufficient information to make a comfortable decision? Do you worry about the hard sell? Worry no more, the Moonee Valley City Council has come to your rescue with their free All About Solar workshop. Speak to experts about solar panels, kilowatts, inverters, roof orientation, and warranties. Weather permitting workshop participants will view the Council's 100 kilowatt array on the Civic Centre Roof.
The workshop is on Saturday 23rd April 2016, 10:00am to 12:30pm at Moonee Valley City Council, 9 Kellaway Avenue, Moonee Ponds. The workshop is free. Find more details and book your place on their website or by ringing 9243 8888.
Cut the Cost of Your Energy Bills: Learn ways to reduce your energy bills without compromising the comforts of your home. This informative workshop run by the Hume City Council also offers energy saving giveaways.
The workshop is on Wednesday 13th April 2016, from 6:15pm to 7:45pm at The Age Library, 1093 Pascoe Vale Road, Broadmeadows. The workshop is free. Bookings are required. Find more details and other green living workshops on the Council website or by ringing 9205 2200.
Architecture and Energy Efficient Building
Built for the Bush – Energy Efficient Building: The Yarra Ranges Regional Museum is hosting an exhibition of the elements that shape Australian dwellings. The exhibition looks at how the past is influencing low energy solutions in modern homes. It features the work of a number of renowned architects and the cutting-edge contemporary houses they are designing.
The exhibition runs to 15th May 2106, from 10.00am to 4.00pm daily at The Yarra Ranges Regional Museum at 35-37 Castella St Lilydale. Entry is free. More details can be found on the Yarra Ranges Shire Council website or by ringing 9294 6313.
Examples of Sustainable Buildings at CERES (Image from CERES Environment Park Facebook Page)
Green Architecture Talk: Architect Alvyn Williams is passionate about values-based design and will discuss his ideas for a sustainable future, as it relates to place and community. He will explore the philosophy behind the architectural work on display as part of the Yarra Ranges Regional Museum's Built for the Bush Exhibition.
Alvyn will be speaking on Saturday 2nd April 2016, from 12.00pm to 1.00pm at The Yarra Ranges Regional Museum at 35-37 Castella St Lilydale. Cost is $10. More details can be found on the Yarra Ranges Shire Council website or by ringing 9294 6313.
Get Climate Ready: Learn how to make a Climate Ready plan for your home and your family. Wild weather, bushfires, floods, heatwave and droughts can affect us all. This practical workshop will help you prepare for these calamities.
Brutus Creek in the drought stricken Longreach area 2015 (Photo Copyright Gayle Beveridge)
The workshop is being held by the Mornington Shire Council on Friday 15th April 2016, from 10:30am to 11:30am at Hastings Community Hub, 1973 Frankston-Flinders Rd, Hastings. The workshop is free. Bookings are required. Find more details here or by ringing Hastings Community Hub on 5979 1398.
Healthy Productive Compost and Worms: This course offered by Bulleen Art and Garden is not just about the compost and the worms. After discussing the importance of compost you will be taught how to make it and how to trouble shoot compost problems. Presenter, Maria Ciavarella will also teach you how to make a worm farm from recycled products, a doubly green option.
The course is on Thursday 16th April 2016, 6.45pm to 9.15 pm at Bulleen Art and Garden, 6 Manningham Road West, Bulleen. Costs are Single ticket $45 and Multi Ticket $40. Find more details and book your place on this website or by ringing them on Bulleen Art and Garden on 8850 3030.
Low Environment Impact Solutions to Garden Pests: Control pests without chemicals. In this workshop by Sustainable Gardens Australia you will learn about natural pest management, sprays and oils made from your garden plants, companion planning, beneficial insects, and how to plant an environmentally sensitive garden.
The workshop is on Saturday 16th April 2016 from 10:30am to 12:00pm at the Horticultural Centre, 82 Jolimont Road, Forest Hill. Cost is $30. Find more about this and other workshops and book your place on their website or by ringing 8850 3050.
Water Sensitive Urban Design Tour: Take a 1 to 1.5 hour self-guided walking tour of some of Central Melbourne's water sensitive urban design. See raingarden tree pits, infiltration pits, permeable bluestone pavement, the Godfrey Street greening project, and Latrobe Streets permeable bike lane.
The tour route along with detailed information can be found on the City of Melbourne Urban Water website and can be viewed on your mobile device or downloaded and printed. The tour commences in the top corner of the Burston Reserve Park where Macarthur Street meets Parliament Place. As it is a self-guided tour it can be done at any time and is free.
CERES –Family Friendly Environmental Displays
CERES Community Environment Park: CERES, the Centre for Education and Research in Environmental Strategies, is a community environment park that has a focus on sustainability education. CERES has working demonstrations of renewable energy technologies including a solar thermal dish and a biogas plant. The buildings on site are examples of sustainable design and feature passive cooling, low energy appliances and natural light. There are indigenous flora and organic garden plantings, and a bushfood nursery. CERES also boast the largest display of household composting systems in the Southern Hemisphere. The park has more to offer, come take a look and bring the kids, there's plenty for them to do too.
CERES Organic Food Grocery (Image from CERES Environment Park Facebook Page)
CERES Community Environment Park is at the Corner of Roberts and Stewart Streets, Brunswick East. Park Gates are open 9.00am to 5.00 pm daily. The Visitor Centre is open Tuesday to Saturday: 8.30am to 3:00pm and Sunday and Monday: 8:30am to 1:30pm. Entry to the park is free. There is an onsite café. Some displays have different opening times, check the website for details or ring 9389 0100.